Mama Don't Forget To Pray For Me
1990. I have just left my publishing deal with longtime pal, Ricky Skaggs (Amanda- Lin Music) and Polygram International Publishing Co. (formerly Welk Music Publishing). My best friend, Larry Shell telsl me as I’m leaving his office one day soon after, “Cord… mama don’t forget to pray for me… think about it”. I do think about it. One day soon after we start to work on the song idea. It’s going to be emotional. We are both emotional anyway. We keep twisting on it a whole day and then, on another day, with more than a few tears shed during the gut wrenching final session, we finish the song. We are overwhelmed that it is out of our minds & on paper. After asking favors of all my session playing buddies, because I’m broke, we demo the song. I am playing at the Blue Bird Café one night soon after the song is finished & play it in the round with friends Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley & Jim Rushing. It goes over really well. Unbeknownst to me, two members of a soon to be multi-platinum selling band, Diamond Rio, (who were in contract talks for a record deal at the time) were in the house and had really liked the song. I cold call Tim Dubois, who is running a fairly new company in town, called Arista Records, an RCA affiliate. Surprisingly, he takes my call, tells me he is a fan of my writing and has me set up an appointment, to play him songs from my new session. These are the first songs I have written and demoed since my Polygram deal has ended and a lot is riding on the outcome of the listening session. Tim immediately puts the ‘mama’ song on hold for Alan Jackson. I"m ecstatic! I knew this publishing business wasn’t that hard! Two or three months later, Tim calls & tells me he wants to take the song ‘off hold’ for Alan & cut it on a new band he has signed called Diamond Rio. My mouth goes dry. He says if I’m ok with it, he promises he’ll cut me and Shell a hit record on his new boys. Man! This guy and his new band really deliver. It reaches billboard magazine’s top 5 and wins an ASCAP award for one of the most performed songs of 1992! Many thanks to Tim and especially, Diamond Rio.